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Conducted By Timothy Ray Dill 
December, 1996 



Vintage New Media asked me if I would like to interview Hugh B. Cave for 
Pulp Fiction Monthly. Interview Hugh B. Cave! Why even ask? I 
remember talking to a book dealer in Tampa Florida a few years ago and 
mentioning Hugh's work. The dealer spent several minutes telling me that 
besides being a great author, Cave is a great guy. After a few phone calls 
to Mr. Cave, I agree completely. I now even own a nicely autographed copy 
of Death Stalks The Night! 

Hugh B. Cave has had an adventurous life. He was born in England on July 
11, 1910 and raised primarily around Boston. He began writing 
professionally at an early age. He sold stories to both the pulps and the 
slicks at the same time before turning to novels. He has written in most of 
the pulp genres including adventure, detective, spicy, horror, and western. 
Several of his stories have been reprinted recently by Barnes & Noble, High 
Adventure, and Tattered Pages Press to name a few. Several comments 
on pulp writing by Mr. Cave have appeared in recent fanzine articles and 
pulp "history" books. 

This interview was conducted by submitting written questions to Mr. Cave. 
I've kept the order of the questions exactly as I submitted them to Mr. Cave. 
His answers reveal a keenly intelligent man with a lifetime of fascinating 
stories. As you will read, most of Mr. Cave's personal collection of his pulp 
stories were destroyed in a fire. Editors are constantly requesting his old 
stories. If you own a pulp which contains a Hugh B. Cave story and 
wouldn't mind copying that story, please e-mail me at 
timrdbr@premier1.premier.net with contact information. I'll send a note to 
Mr. Cave. Wouldn't it be a nice surprise to receive a letter or phone call 
from the author himself? 



Tim Dill: You were very young when you 
became a professional writer. Was that always 
the career path that you had intended? 

Hugh B. Cave: My English mother was born in 
India and knew Kipling. Her father built the Great 
Indian Peninsula Railway there and was mayor of 
Bombay for a time. I'm told that when Queen 
Victoria offered him knighthood, he replied that 
any damn fool could put a "sir" in front of his 
name, but he would be most grateful to be 
honored with a C I.E — Companion of the Indian 
Empire. Victoria gave him that in Buckingham 
Palace. 

My mother became a nurse and was asked to 
serve in the Boer war in South Africa. My father, 
Tom Cave, followed her there and became a 



paymaster in the British army. They were married 
there. A sister of my mother settled in the 
Australian outback when life there was rather 
primitive. Another settled in what was then 
Persia, where her son died trying to save a worker 
in a mine explosion. When I was four and a half 
years old, my parents opted for a new life in 
America, where they knew no one. 

So, you see, I must have been born with a bit of 
adventure in my genes. And on top of that, my 
mother was a great reader. I was named after 
Hugh Walpole. I read Kipling, Conrad, 
Stevenson, and other such authors while in high 
school, and wrote short stories for the school 
paper. (My brother Geoffrey, four years older, had 
written for his high-school paper, too.) Then while 
still in high school I became a reporter and feature 
writer on the staff of a Y.M.C.A. publication. 



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All rights reserved. 
Pulp Fiction Monthly is a trademark of Vintage New Media. 



Pulp Fiction Monthly 



AN INTERVIEW WITH HUGH B. CAVE 



January, 1997 



Boston Young Men's News, and began selling 
poetry to newspapers and short stories to Sunday 
School magazines and such. 

So, then, yes — I guess you could say I always 
wanted to be a writer. At least, I can't recall ever 
wanting to be anything else! 



Tim Dill: Tell me about the days as an office boy 
in Boston. Is that where you got the fiction bug? 
I believe you started there just after high school. 

Hugh B. Cave: I wasn't an office boy, exactly. I 
graduated from high school with a college 
scholarship but had to go to work because my 
dad had been severely injured by a runaway 
street car. So I got a job with a vanity publishing 
company in Boston, rented an apartment in Back 
Bay, and took selected courses at Boston 
University in the evenings. 

At the publishing company I was a jack-of-all- 
trades, editing and sometimes rewriting 
manuscripts, designing and doing art work for 
book jackets, corresponding with some of the 
authors, and helping to put together several trade 
magazines also produced by this publisher. On 
the side I was selling poetry and short stories of 
my own to various newspapers and small 
magazines. One of my poems was set to music 
by Carlyle Davis and sung by him in Carnegie Hall 
in New York. Then in 1929, while still working for 
this company, I made my first pulp sale to Brief 
Stories, with a short story called Island Ordeal. 

Everything happened in a hurry then. I began to 
sell to Astounding Stories, Action Stories, Short 
Stories, and soon was in a position to quit my 
job — the only one I've ever had — and survive as a 
full-time writer. 

Tim Dill: What was your initial exposure to the 
pulp field? 

Hugh B. Cave: I think I've just answered that. If 
by "exposure" you mean when did I first become 
acquainted with the pulps, that might call for a bit 
of expansion. 

I was born in 1910, in England, and came to the 
U.S. A. at age four and a half, as mentioned 
before. By the time I was old enough to notice 
such things, pulp magazines were displayed on 



racks in every drugstore in the land — dozens and 
dozens of intriguing titles all gussied up in bright, 
shiny, alluring covers. Being interested in the 
printed word in any form, especially fiction, I made 
a point of acquiring some of those magazines. 

Some very good writers were writing for the pulps, 
I discovered. Max Brand, Edgar Rice Burroughs, 
Talbot Mundy ... the list was quite long. And the 
stories were fun to read. There was no TV then, 
remember, and pulp tales took the reader to all 
sorts of exotic, far-off places. Or to the old West. 
Or to other planets. Or worlds of the weird and 
fantastic. I would buy a magazine, read it, write 
something of the same sort, and mail it to the 
editor. I'm sure many must have been rejected in 
those early days, but I remember only the letters 
of acceptance. 

And even then — as I began to sell to the pulps — I 
was reading fiction InThe Saturday Evening Post 
and other such "slick-paper" magazines. After all, 
they paid more money and were considered more 
"respectable." 



Tim Dill: You've written stories in most of the 
genre's such as detective, adventure, spicy, 
horror, jungle adventures, etc. Do you have a 
favorite? 

Hugh B. Cave: A favorite genre? Well now, in 
the beginning, because I had grown up hearing 
about India, Africa, Australia, the South Seas and 
such, I leaned toward adventure stories. And 
because I enjoyed the work of Conan Doyle I 
wrote detective stories. Then, because I admired 
Edgar Allen Poe and Ambrose Bierce, I began 
writing for such magazines as Weird Tales and 
Strange Tales. Then Westerns, because I liked 
the work of such writers as Zane Grey, Max 
Brand and Owen Wister. 

But then I moved into mainstream books, and 
from those to the slicks, writing for The Saturday 
Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, 
Esquire, Country Gentleman, Colliers, Ladies 
Home Journal, etc. And when the slicks faded as 
a fiction market and I concentrated on writing 
novels, I enjoyed doing what was then known as 
"horror." But I beg not to be called a "horror 
writer", even though in 1991 the Horror Writers 
Association gave me their Lifetime Achievement 
Award. My novels in the field should more 



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AN INTERVIEW WITH HUGH B. CAVE 



January, 1997 



properly be called mystery or dark fantasy, I think. 
At any rate, they are not packed with the gore, 
garbage language and obscurity found in so much 
of today's "horror" fiction. 



Tim Dill: You've said in the past that the Spicy's 
were fun. Did you consider them easy to write? 

Hugh B. Cave: Were the spicy stories easier to 
write than other pulp tales? I think they were, if 
only because the editors did not lay down any 
rigid guidelines. A writer for the Spicies was free 
to let his imagination take wings and soar, 
especially in tales aimed at Spicy Mystery and 
Spicy Adventure. In truth, I don't think they ever 
turned down a story of mine, and I had 70 stories 
published in the three magazines mentioned 
above plus Private Detective Stories, Romantic 
Detective, and Speed Adventure Stories, which 
were later brought out by the same publisher. 

A footnote here, please. In some twenty of my 
stories for the Spicies I used a character I called 
"The Eel." He had no other name. In the 
adventure magazine he was '"your gentleman 
correspondent," operating all over the world. In 
the detective book he was a private eye. For 
Spicy i\/lystery Stories he was likely to be almost 
anything. He told his stories in the first person, 
present tense, a la Damon Runyon, and I had a 
great time writing them, and he was pretty 
popular — got lots of covers. One of these days his 
escapades will be gathered together in a book of 
some sort. Stay tuned. 



Tim Dill: You published many of your Spicy 
stories under the pen name of Justin Case. I've 
always wondered where you came up with that 
name. Just in case you became famous? 

Hugh B. Cave: Ah, yes, Justin Case! I was 
working with agent Lurton "Count" Blassingame at 
the time the Spicies came into being, and he 
phoned me one day to tell me about this New 
York publisher who was planning a trio of 
magazines to be called Spicy i\/lystery Stories, 
Spicy Adventure Stories and Spicy Detective 
Stories. The editors, he said, would like me to 
write for them, with payment on acceptance at 
higher rates than most of the other pulps were 
paying. 



I was on the verge of breaking into the slicks at 
the time, notably Tlie Saturday Evening Post and 
was pretty sure it wouldn't help me to have my 
name on the covers of magazines with the word 
"Spicy" in their titles. So I asked Count to ask the 
editors if I might use a pen-name. They said yes. 
I first thought of using the name Barnett, which is 
my middle name. But after some heavy thinking I 
decided on Case, as being closer to Cave, and 
then wondered what to use instead of Hugh B. 

With Case in there, it was easy. Justin came to 
mind very quickly, and the Spicy editors got a 
chuckle out of it, promising it would remain my 
exclusive property and not become a house 
name. Later on, when they reprinted some of the 
70 stories I sold them, they came up with some 
far-out names themselves, even using "John 
Wayne" on one story of mine. 

By the way, I still use the Justin Case moniker 
now and then. It even appeared recently in a 
Barnes & Noble anthology! And I never, ever, 
used my real name in the Spicies. 



Tim Dill: The pulp field seems to be in an 
upsurge of popularity lately. I see Barnes & Noble 
reprinting several pulp related volumes. Vintage 
New Media is breaking new ground with electronic 
pulp reprints on the internet, and the quality of 
printing in l-ligli Adventure just keeps getting 
better. Any thoughts on this area? 

Hugh B. Cave: Yes, Barnes & Noble has 
published several handsome volumes of pulp 
stories. And many fine books have been and are 
being written about the pulps. And there are 
some handsome magazines being published 
about the pulps, such asAV/g/? Adventure, which 
you mentioned, and Pulp Vault, and Echoes, to 
name just a few. So why have pulp stories 
survived? Why are books being written about 
them and magazines being devoted to them? 
Why is there an annual Pulpcon? Why is Vintage 
New Media offering pulp stories and interviews 
such as this on the internet? I think I know a few 
of the reasons. 

While the pulp magazines unquestionably 
published some poor stories, they also published 
some excellent work by writers who went on to 
become well known names. Pulp writers, 
remember, got their style, their values, their 



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AN INTERVIEW WITH HUGH B. CAVE 



January, 1997 



thinking, from the old masters. The best ones 
knew the basics of writing and were able to come 
up with consistently good work even though 
writing in a hurry for low rates. 

For many years I was one of the judges of the 
Scholastic Magazines' annual short story contest 
for high school students. The prizes were college 
scholarships. Year after year the stories became 
more and more obscure because teachers were 
teaching these kids it was "arty" to write that way. 
It was also virtually incomprehensible. Art itself, 
of course, took off on this murky road some years 
ago. No one has understood so-called modern 
art for years. And what about classical music? 
Have you listened to some of the newer 
compositions? Some sound like cats fighting on a 
back-alley fence. 

So what do we have? Those kids, who learned 
this dismal stuff from teachers who themselves 
couldn't write worth a damn, are now editors, and 
accepting only the sort of writing they think of as 
"art." And some of it is beyond understanding. 

I read a review recently by a respected reviewer. 
This is what he said of an "important" new novel; 
"/ don 't get it. I just don 't get it. Period. " 

But you "get" a pulp story. Well or badly written, it 
has a beginning, a middle, an end. And many 
readers like that. 



Tim Dill: Can you compare some of today's 
authors with the authors of the pulp era? 

Hugh B. Cave: I'm sure many of today's big 
names, if born back in the pulp era, would have 
begun their careers writing for the pulps. Some 
did, of course. Among today's well-known 
writers, some would undoubtedly have written for 
Detective Story or Blacl< Masi<i, some for the love 
pulps, others for such magazines as Astounding 
or Western Story or Weird Tales, still others for 
SItort Stories, Adventure, or Blue Book There 
were some 200 pulp magazines, remember, 
covering almost every genre. It was nice to be 
able to earn a living while learning one's trade or, 
if you like, polishing one's skills. I, for one, 
learned a lot from pulp editors and am grateful to 
them. 



Tim Dill: The sheer volume of material that you 
have written is staggering. Reading some of your 
correspondence written in the early 30's, you 
mention sending thirty or more published pulp 
stories to your British Literary Agent per month. 
How did you endure this type of pace? 

Hugh B. Cave: I was young and full of ginger 
back then, but didn't write any 30 stories a month, 
believe me. About sending stories to England, I 
had an English agent, and when I had enough 
stories on hand from various pulps to send him a 
bundle, I did so. He then re-sold them to various 
English and European magazines that published 
such stories. 

I actually wrote about 800 pulp stories under one 
name or another. Sadly, I no longer have the 
notebooks in which I kept records of when they 
were written, where sold, how much I was paid for 
them, when and where they were published, 
reprinted, etc. All that information was lost when 
a fire took out the garden house in which I had it 
stored — along with a small mountain of pulp 
magazines (worth a fortune today) in which the 
stories appeared. But I do know the number of 
stories listed in my notebooks had passed the 800 
mark. What else I now know about my pulp 
output I've learned mostly from collectors and 
fans, and such books Leonard A. Bobbins' 
wonderful The Pulp Magazine Index. 

I would write a short story in a couple of days, I 
seem to remember. Novelettes took three or four 
days, and serials much longer, of course. And I 
didn't send out first-draft copy, ever. I had a 
reputation for turning out clean copy, which I 
earned by editing and retyping everything at least 
once. Other writers — H. Bedford Jones, for 
instance — wrote much faster than that, so I was 
not by any means the most prolific pulp writer. I 
once read that Bedford Jones often worked on 
several stories at once, using different 
typewriters. And once, when in N.Y., I visited 
Arthur J. Burks and watched him pound away at a 
manual typewriter to meet a deadline while half a 
dozen friends, including Manly Wade Wellman, 
sat around his apartment talking. 

But I'm probably not the slowest writer, either. 
Counting pulps and slicks, I've had something like 
1200 shorts, novelettes and serials published, 
along with 30-some books. 



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Pulp Fiction Monthly 



AN INTERVIEW WITH HUGH B. CAVE 



January, 1997 



Tim Dill: With the tremendous volume of pulp 
fiction that you have written, there must be a few 
pieces that are not up to your personal standards. 
Are you ashamed of any of your work? 

Hugh B. Cave: In putting together collections of 
my pulp stories for book publication, I have 
rejected some that I didn't think were up to par. 
Just recently, for instance, when reading over 
some of those previously mentioned Spicy 
magazine "Eel" stories for possible book 
publication, I threw out one that I thought wasn't 
good enough. But, no, I haven't had anything 
published that I'm actually "ashamed" of. 



Tim Dill: One of your techniques to help with 
plotting was to read a racing form and use the 
horse's names to inspire a plot. I thought that 
was extremely clever. What other story writing 
techniques have you used? 

Hugh B. Cave: "Where do you get your ideas?" 
is a question every writer is asked again and 
again. As it should be, I suppose, because 
without ideas there would be no stories. That 
business of using racetrack entries came about 
when I rented an office in the old Industrial Trust 
Building in Providence, R.I, in which to work. On 
my way to the office each morning I would buy a 
Racing Form so as to put a few small bets down 
during my lunch hour on horses running at 
Narragansett Park. 

It worked, too. Try it yourself. You run down a 
list of entries in a race, pick out names that seem 
to indicate characters or suggest some kind of 
action, then weave a story-line around them. 
What you come up with won't be a ready-made 
plot, of course. You'll have to fill it in and build on 
it. But a pulp writer had to churn out stories one 
after another, and anything beat sitting there 
staring at a blank sheet of paper in the typewriter. 
I found it worked especially well for detective 
stories, and remember using it for many of the 63 
shorts, novelettes and serials I wrote for 
Detective Fiction Weekly. 

Other idea sources? Well, now, I carried a small 
notebook — what writer doesn't? — in which to jot 
down any ideas that came into my so-called head 
anywhere, at any time. And, of course, a mind 
alert for ideas is always receptive to them, like an 



empty bucket out in the yard waiting for drops of 
rain to fall. I'm still into all this, by the way. 
Couldn't halt the process now even if I wanted to. 



Tim Dill: You published extensively in both the 
pulp field and the slicks. Were the slicks 
considerably harder to write and plot? 

Hugh B. Cave: The slicks were harder to sell 
because they paid so much more and the 
competition was heftier. Take The Saturday 
Evening Post, for instance. I mean the old one, 
the Curtis publication. They would report on a 
story in 48 hours, and they paid top rates, which 
meant they got first look at just about everything 
that seemed to be a possible Posf story. 

And yes, stories for the slicks took me longer to 
plot and write because they had to be of more 
general interest than pulp tales. A pulp western, 
for instance, was aimed at readers of western 
stories. A pulp detective yarn was aimed at 
lovers of mystery. The slicks, though, were aimed 
at whole families of readers. 

I could turn out a 5000-word pulp story in one 
sitting if I had to. (Not that I did it often!) Only 
once that I recall did I ever do a slickpaper story 
in one session at the typewriter, and that was a 
tale called The Mission, which appeared in The 
Saturday Evening Post and was based on 
something that really happened to a little girl in 
Haiti, where I spent several years studying and 
writing about voodoo. 



Tim Dill: You were very active in the American 
Fiction Guild during the thirties. What are your 
fondest memories with this organization? 

Hugh B. Cave: According to a newspaper 
clipping in a scrapbook of mine. The American 
Fiction Guild was "a national association of writers 
and artists whose aim is to improve the standard 
of fiction in all-fiction magazines, which 
magazines publish 80 per cent of the fiction 
published in this country." I was named 
"president" of the Rhode Island district and asked 
to establish a Rhode Island chapter. Some 
prominent New York pulp writers were behind the 
movement, I seem to remember, but before I 
could establish en active R.I. chapter the Guild 



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AN INTERVIEW WITH HUGH B. CAVE 



January, 1997 



just sort of faded away. My file on it disappeared 
long ago, and there is no way I can look things up. 

I do recall that I wrote to H.P. Lovecraft about 
joining up, and we exchanged a few letters on that 
and other subjects. And I suppose I must have 
contacted other R.I. pulp writers, if there were any 
in Little Rhody at that time. 



Tim Dill: You've called H.P. Lovecraft an artist in 
the past. Could you explain this statement? 



Hugh B. Cave: HP 

certainly a word artist. 



Lovecraft was most 



I do think he is sometimes admired for the wrong 
reason, though. His imitators try to copy his 
prose style when they ought to be trying to 
capture his creativity or his masterful ability to lure 
the reader along to an explosive climax. 

His work has endured because it's different, not 
just because of August Derleth and other 
admirers who have devoted or are presently 
devoting themselves to keeping it alive. 



Tim Dill: Do you consider yourself an artist or a 
business man? 



came on the scene to whisk its viewers off to 
exciting, far-away places. Pulp fiction took its 
readers all over the world, in fact all over the 
universe, and most of those readers, I'm sure, 
were adults seeking a break from the struggle to 
stay alive in what was one of the darkest periods 
in our country's history. As Robert Bloch pointed 
out in his Pulpcon speech, the year he and I were 
co-Guests, the pulps, like the movies, were an 
escape hatch for people caught up in a dreary 
struggle for existence. 

I didn't read the pulps as a kid; I know that. I read 
the authors mentioned earlier in this interview. 
And when I wrote for kids I wrote forBoys' Life 
and American Boy. 



Tim Dill: What was the best pulp publishing 
house in your opinion as an author? 

Hugh B. Cave: In all fairness, I don't think I 
should try to answer this Lurton Blassingame 
became my agent very early in the game, and 
thereafter he handled all my pulp work. (Not the 
slicks; I handled those myself.) So I had no way 
of knowing which pulp publishers were easy to 
work with and which were difficult. All I know is 
that Blassingame was able to sell everything I 
sent him. 



Hugh B. Cave: Hey, I'm a writer I've been a 
writer since high school. The only time I ever 
tried to be anything else was when I bought an old 
rundown coffee plantation in Jamaica's Blue 
Mountains and restored it, and even then I spent 
all of my spare time at a typewriter. 

I hope I'm a businessman when it comes to 
selling what I write, but first of all I'm a writer. 

Tim Dill: I've read that the target audience of 
most pulps was twelve year old boys. Have you 
consciously "written down" to your audience at 
times? 

Hugh B. Cave: Twelve-year-old boys? No, no. 
Kids didn't read the pulps. Not many kids, 
anyway. What 12-year-old would have 

understood the stories in, say,Weird Tales? 

The pulps reached their peak in the thirties, 
remember, when this fair land of ours was deep in 
a depression. Also, that was before television 



I did briefly meet a few editors along the way. 
Rogers Terrill of Popular Publication comes to 
mind, also Roy de S. Horn of S/7orf Stories and 
Wally Bamber of Far East Adventure Stories. 
Wally, when driving through Rhode Island one 
day, graciously stopped at my Pawtucket digs to 
give me a couple of original cover paintings for 
Cave stories he had published. But the only 
editor I ever knew well was Popular's Kenneth 
White. As a friend of my agent. Ken began 
accompanying Blassingame and me and a pal, 
Larry Dunn, on fishing trips to Maine and New 
Hampshire. We kept it up for years. One summer 
the four of us spent six weeks canoeing through 
the Canadian wilderness between Lake Huron 
and Hudson's Bay. Ken White was a fine editor 
and a great guy. My son. Ken Cave, is named 
after him. 



Tim Dill: Did you ever meet Emile C. 
Tepperman? What can you tell me about him? 



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AN INTERVIEW WITH HUGH B. CAVE 



January, 1997 



Hugh B. Cave: I know about Tepperman, of 
course, but never met him or corresponded with 
him. I'm not even sure that I ever appeared on a 
contents page with him. Sorry. 



Tim Dill: You stored most of your pulp field work 
in the garden house of your home. A fire 
destroyed all of your hundreds of pulp magazines. 
Quite a tragedy for pulp enthusiasts. Have you 
been able to replace most of them? Are you 
actively trying to find copies of these magazines? 

Hugh B. Cave: No, I haven't been able to 
replace most of those lost stories. Only a few. 
And actually I'm not trying very hard to find whole 
magazines. It's too late in the day for me to start 
collecting those, and they're expensive. Besides, 
where I'm living now I haven't room to store them. 
I am looking for copies of my missing stories, 
however, because anthology editors keep 
requesting certain types, and publishers keep 
coming up with new ideas for collections. 

For example Barnes & Noble has used many 
short pulp stories of mine in their "100 Little" 
series of anthologies. And the following 
collections of my short stories have been 
published: 



The Witching Lands. Doubleday, 
Indies stories from the slicks. 



1962. West 



Murgunstrumm and Others. Carcosa, 1977 Pulp 
weird-menace stories. 

A Summer Romance & Other Stories. 
Longmans, 1980. Stories from Good 
Housekeeping. 

The Corpse Maker. Starmont, 1988. Pulp 
mystery stories. 

Death Stalks The Night. Fedogan & Bremor, 
1995. Pulp weird menace stories. 

The Dagger of Tsiang. Tattered Pages Press. 
Pulp adventure stories. 

Three other collections are on the way, one from 
Fedogan & Bremer, two from Necronomicon 
Press. And I'm working on others. 



Tim Dill: Looking back at all your work, what one 
piece or area are you the most proud? 

Hugh B. Cave: That's a tough one. What one 
piece? My Murgunstrumm and Others, published 
by Karl Edward Wagner's Carosa, won a World 
Fantasy Award. My voodoo novel, 7/76 Cross on 
the Drum, was a double bookclub selection. A 
short story of mine called 7/76 Mission, illustrated 
with a magnificent full-page portrait of it's little 
Haitian heroine, Yolande, by artist Peter Stevens, 
was said by the Post's editors to have received 
more reader mail than anything of its kind the 
magazine ever published. And three of the five 
war books I wrote as a correspondent in World 
War II were reprinted in the 1980s for the Navel 
Academy. 

Then there's a little American Magazine "storiette" 
of mine called Two Were Left, about an Eskimo 
boy and his dog marooned on an iceberg, that 
has been reprinted nearly a hundred times, in 
schoolbooks. 

My "proudest piece" would have to be one of 
those. I don't know which one. 



Tim Dill: Some hard core pulp fans detest the 
work of pulp authors who made the transition into 
the slicks. These fans feel that the slicks offered 
a very unimaginative and generic brand of fiction. 
What is your opinion of the slicks' creativity 
compared to that of the pulps? 

Hugh B. Cave: I'll have to take the middle road 
on this one. Some slick fiction is written to 
formula. So was some pulp fiction. Actually, 
soon after I became established in the pulps I 
began trying to hit the slicks as well, and I'm not 
sure there was all that much difference between 
the two. 

Take, for instance, my Tsiang l-louse tales for 
Short Stories, which have now been reprinted in 
the Tattered Pages Press volume, 7/)6 Dagger of 
Tsiang. Two of them were originally published in 
The Canadian Magazine, a slick, yet publisher 
Doug Ellis did not hesitate to use them in the 
book. And I'm sure that the South Seas 
adventure tales I sold to The Saturday Evening 
Post after seeing that part of the world as a 
correspondent in World War II were every bit as 



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AN INTERVIEW WITH HUGH B. CAVE 



January, 1997 



imaginative as anytining of mine tinat ever 
appeared in a pulp. 

Of course, if you're a big fan of say, my creepy 
novelettes in Dime Mystery or Terror Tales, 
you're not likely to be all that enthusiastic about 
my novelettes in Good Housekeeping. Believe 
me, though, the same sincerity and hard work 
went into both. 



THE END 




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